10th grader needs help from the #autistic community – answer a few questions about passing for a neurotypical

Maya

Maya Radhakrishnan, who is 10th grade, has asked that the Art of Autism readers help her with a research project she is doing for a Civil Rights class.

She would like if those who are autistic answer a few questions.

Passing for Neurotypical Interview Questions

1. How old are you? Are you in high-school, college, or working?

2. How old were you when you were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

3. What does ‘passing’ mean for you? What are some examples of behaviours that you consciously control in order to fit in?

4. Why do you pass? Is it out of convenience, necessity, desire to fit in, etc.?

5. What are some of the challenges which come with passing? (E.g. Exhaustion, damage to identity, lack of accommodations when necessary, etc.)

6. Would you prefer to not have to pass for neurotypical? If so, what are some ways that neurotypicals can be accepting of your autism?

Email your answers to maya.radhakrishnan@roeper.org. She will keep all responses anonymous unless she receives explicit permission to use someone’s name.

If you have any questions about this questionnaire or my project in general, please email me at maya.radhakrishnan@roeper.org. It may take me up to a day to respond. Thank you for your participation!

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Maya Radhakrishnan is a 10th grader who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder two years ago. She is very high-functioning. Maya is studying and documenting the effects of passing for neurotypical for her Civil Rights class. Her teacher encourages students to ‘get proximate’ to the group they are studying by interviewing people. Maya also loves mathematics and art, especially watercolours.

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